Different types of polishing compounds

Polishing is a necessary step as part of the process of manufacturing products. In addition to removing excess parts such as burrs and finishing the product to the appropriate size, it also polishes the product as a finishing touch. Polishing materials have compatible materials and may not be effective with other than the corresponding polishing compounds. In order to create stable products, it is necessary to use them depending on their characteristics.

What is a polishing compound?

Polishing compounds are products that contain abrasive grains, etc., and are used to process and finish objects by grinding them. Basically, these products  use abrasive grains with high hardness for scraping the object. Commonly used materials are diamond, silicon oxide, aluminum oxide, and cubic boron nitride.

Polishing compounds can be used depending on type, grain size and number of abrasive grains it contains, and also by the compatibility of the material. Compatibility of materials are important, so it is best to know how to select the type that is appropriate to use.

Selecting by type

Polishing compounds  are available in a variety of types, including blue, white, tripoli, red, dungee, no-chrome, and compound.

Blue bar


This type is suitable for the finishing process. Chromium oxide is usually used for abrasive grains, and is also used for mirror finishing of stainless steel, etc.

White rod


This type usually uses aluminum oxide as the abrasive grain. It can be used for a wide range of applications, from medium finishing to finishing. Because of its high versatility, each manufacturer offers a variety of white rods with different grain sizes.



This is used in a similar way to red rods, but silicon oxide is used for the abrasive grains. It is often used for medium finishing of aluminum, zinc alloys, copper, etc.

Red rod


Compared to white and blue rods, red rods are said to have the coarsest grain size. Iron oxide or similar grains were often used for abrasives, which are mainly used in the initial polishing process and in the preliminary polishing.

No chrome


This is a polishing compound that uses aluminum oxide or similar abrasive grains. Also called ‘non-chrome’ or ’pink stick’, it is used for semi-mirror finish and mirror finish. It is generally said to be suitable for finer finishing than blue bars.



This polishing compound has high polishing power and is often used for medium finishing of steel and stainless steel.

Selecting by grain size and grades

Polishing compounds contain abrasive grains and each product can be selected by grain size and number. The smaller the number, the rougher the particles; conversely, the larger the number, the finer the particles, which makes it easier to use in the finishing process. The following particle sizes are available: #60, #120, #220, #240, #320, #400, #600, #1200, #3000, and #8000. 

Selecting by compatible materials

Polishing compounds should also be selected based on their compatibility. No matter how suitable the compound is for the process, if the abrasive is softer than the target material, it will not be polished. Also, too much abrasive force may scratch resins and plastics. It is important to select a solid abrasive by carefully checking the compatible material.

Typical types of compatible materials include aluminum, glass, stainless steel, titanium/nickel, wood, resin, stone, precious metals, iron, and copper/brass.


It is important to first confirm if the polishing compound to be used is compatible with the target material. Then, for each process, select the appropriate type such as red bar, blue bar, or no-chrome.Using a polishing compound with the right grain size for the process will allow you to complete the work efficiently.